Big Stan Pizza and Grill (Klaksvik, Faroe Islands)

Our next excursion in the Faroe Islands was taking a ferry to the Island of Kalsoy. A rugged, steep island in the middle of the Northern Faroes, Kalsoy is lightly populated and is one of the more picturesque locations, with a series of idyllic valleys (connected by even more tunnels), and the stunningly cute village of Trøllanes on the north end. It’s also the locale for a phenomenally scenic hike, the hike from Trøllanes up to Kallur Lighthouse, where you get a stunning panorama of five islands (Viðoy, Kunoy, Kalsoy itself, Eysturoy, and Streymoy). This was one of the finest views I’ve had anywhere (and one of the most-photographed views of the Faroes).

Afterward, we took the ferry back to Klaksvik, the second-largest city in the Faroes. While it’s a sizeable settlement, and definitely more of a “city” than most of the little villages, the options are still a bit limited for restaurants (especially at 8pm on a Saturday), with the choices being listed on one hand. After enjoying a pair of beers at Roykstovan (a charming little pub just down from the Föroya Bjór brewery), their menu mostly focuses on burgers, and we were wanting something different. So instead we walked a block down the street, finding Big Stan Pizza and Grill.

Walking into Big Stan, you notice a few things. The first is that Big Stan is remarkably like 90% of the “Village Pizza” and “Pizza Chef” places dotting New England towns: a service counter, a few coolers of soft drinks, formica tables, and a menu that features both pizza and a variety of sandwiches and pitas, which definitely aren’t your standard Faroese fare.

The next is that the owner of Big Stan, and his brother (who was running the place the day we dropped by), definitely aren’t Faroese. Asking where they were from, the answer was “Africa” with no specific country mentioned, with the guy running the counter saying “we rather like it here. A lot quieter than where we’re from.” Which I’ll certainly grant, since “quiet” is one of the qualities the Faroes have almost in excess. In any case, I rather like the global nature of all of it: two guys from Africa, setting up shop in a quiet small city in the Faroes, selling pizza, burgers, and schwarma. In any case, I ended up ordering some Shawarma, and finally trying Jolly, the cola of the Faroes (also bottled at Föroya Bjór just down the street, Jolly is way more common in the Faroes than Coke).

And I’ll have to say, Big Stan and company make a good schwarma: nice, tasty meat, grilled up to a crisp and sliced onto a pita with some lettuce, tomato, onion, and some ranch-dressing style sauce, this was a pleasant little dinner. The staff was pleasant, the prices nice, and it was a nice little changeup from the more traditional Faroese cuisine we’d been indulging in. I’d love to come back. And I’d love to hear more of Big Stan and his family’s history and how they ended up in Klaksvik.

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